The Honourable Woman Review: “Two Hearts”

(Episode 1.05)

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<i>The Honourable Woman</i> Review: &#8220;Two Hearts&#8221;

Without skipping a beat, Episode Five picks up with Nessa and Atika in Gaza still questioning the outcome of their fate. However, it seems like the Israelis have had a change of heart—or perhaps Nessa being rescued is a hiccup in a much more extravagant plan by the Fatah group. Al Zahid says, “If they come for her, let them take her. I have plans for Nessa Stein.” Moments later, Nessa, Kasim, and Atika are liberated. Clutching Kasim tightly to her frail body, Atika has claimed him as her own.

In order for this rescue to occur, Ephra gave up his future. Rebecca tells him he must step down as head of the Stein group, and put Nessa in his place as she is “unaware and uncompromised”. This decision feels a bit naïve (or inaccurate). Didn’t Nessa just prove that she is determined to make herself aware of the situation, and to make sure that there are, indeed, legal means to the end?

Furthermore, Nessa makes the hardest decision she can, deciding she is not going to tell anyone about Gaza. Despite the trauma she experienced, Nessa believes that it is ultimately more beneficial for her not to claim Kasim as her child. By the way, I do not think we ever saw a scene last episode, or episodes before, where we discovered Kasim was Nessa’s son. Was that a fluke on the writer’s part?

Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding Schlomo’s possible deceit continues to unfold. Although Schlomo has not expressed much to prove himself untrustworthy, Nessa seems to think he is part of a conspiracy against her and/or the Stein Group. Once we discover that Schlomo’s contract laid the cabling down in the west bank, he seems untrustworthy. However, I am inclined to believe him when he says that he had no idea about the wiretapping going on—which would mean he was listening in on multiple conversations.

As I’ve said before, I like that The Honourable Woman spends lots of time developing subplots, no matter how irrelevant they might seem. This time, we briefly meet Ben the intellectual. Ben, one of the teachers from the Stein Group schools, becomes keenly aware of the administrative process. Because an ethnic student with excellent test scores is denied access to the school over an army drop-out, he suspects corruption. This hunch ultimately leads to his death. Much to my chagrin, Ben ends up dead in a trashcan full of lemons, which seems very [inappropriately] symbolic if you ask me.

Other thoughts on “Two Hearts”:

• I am shocked that Nessa is in love with Atika. It’s not about whether or not Nessa is gay, it just seems like too obvious a plot twist, where Atika is in love with Ephra but Nessa is in love with Atika.

• No sign of the burnt-faced man, but now we are worrying about Schlomo. The ultimate question remains—is he friend or is he foe?

• I find it very easy/appealing to forget about the personal relations going on in the work places, and like that the writers keep us on our toes

• I wonder why Ephra is so confident that Nessa’s secret, “owns her”